[D8905AIG], Letter from Willis N Stewart to Thomas Alva Edison, November 17th, 1889


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[D8905AIG], Letter from Willis N Stewart to Thomas Alva Edison, November 17th, 1889

Editor's Notes

Perhaps it may interest you to know now I am succeeding here. I found on arrivval that the Company organized to purchase the Chilean telephone business contained a large number of gentlemen who had been subjected to a religious rite as ancient as the days of Moses, & as I prefer to deal with Gentiles I had to look elsewhere. By good fortune I met some London capitalists who hold certain lighing concessions in So. America & Mexico, & we have joined forces to make one large Company to do business on the Edison system. I am delaying these negotiations for the following reasons: In Paris I met one Charles H. Logan Prst. Of the "Standard Electric Co" of Detroit, who has a new form of Storage Battery. I paid little attention to the matter at first, but became interested when the Battery was explained to me. Briefly, he uses no paste, but drills DRY; the plate is not a grid; there can be no "buckling," expansion is got rid of, & the active material cannot fall off a get out of contact with the plate; free circulation of the electrolyte is maintained; connections are in parallel lines & each plate may be remored; plates are held in a morel rack so that one can see under, through & around them,. While so much peroxide is exposed that the Battery gies double the output of any known cell. The construction is so simple that we have during the past two weeks easily produced 22 plates per hour with one man & two boys from a single mould at a trifling expense. This Battery is sold to a London syndicate for 100,000 pounds, subject to a test to be made by Wm. Preece & Sir Wm Thompson, which test is nearly ready. I am doing the electrical work & have secured a half interest for 80 America, & also a refusal of the right to use the same by the Edison Co. of New York, if you find the matter worth your attention. My good opinion of the Battery is confirmed by all elecctrician who have seen it & I shall be glad to give you fuller details as soon as some patent formalities are concluded, in India & Italy. The inventor is making a very handsome 75 light installation here, which will be subjected to a careful & full test. The system is entirely new & does not even remotely conflict with existing patents. When the rest is made we shall conclude an So. American Company. ## My Dyer informs me that an Edison Central Station in London may become a fact in the near future,. I have furnished him some data & estimates which may be of use, as I know London well. I calculate that a Station of 50,000 lamps an be erected for $1,000,000 & pay 26% per annum, giving light at 1 farthing per hour per 10 candle lamp a same as gas at 2/6 per m. These figures are worked out with great are from data of Boston, Harrisburg & other existing plants reduced to an English ban's of prices. I can't coal at 141 per ton & allow an extra large number of employees. If this work is done, don't forget me, as I do not at present intend to return to Chili. I shall visit Deptford this week. I hear on every ride that the whole thing is a failure & that they cannot get 2000 volts through their conductors, while there have already been several accidents. ## I forgot to state that in London few people own their houses, & will not therefore go to much expense for using a fixtures; I therefore estimate a free wires, etc., in every house & charge a rent equal to 6% per annum on their cost. I find in London that it is almost impossible to get decent fitttings, switches, etc. & if your Wm. Doyer could open a large London branch house there would be a fortune in it, solely in Americcan goods. I cannot find even a [decanted? -----] insulated wire in the whole town, ## My cable address is "Dey, London," & I shall be happy to collect any impformation you may desire here. Please let Mr. Insull see this letter, that he may know that I am moving, ## I have not made any Phonograph arrangements for Chile, as terms are too high. ## Congratulating you on the result of the patent suit, & with my best regards to all the friends, I am,




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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